6mm Creedmoor vs. 243 Win

6mm Creedmoor vs. 243 Win

An in-depth look at the 243 Win vs. 6mm Creedmoor rifle cartridges to see which ammo option works best. Who's the winner?

Prior to the 1950s the most successful American 6mm/.243-inch cartridge was the 6mm Lee Navy. But when the .308 Win. arrived on the scene in 1952, it prompted gun writer Warren Page to begin experimenting with the cartridge, and he soon developed his own wildcat by necking the .308 down to .243 (6mm).

Winchester liked what this wildcat could accomplish and legitimized it in 1955. That same year Remington launched its own 6mm cartridge, known as the .244 Rem., which was based on the .257 Roberts. The Remington round had a slight ballistic edge over the .243 Win., and a brief war for 6mm dominance ensued, but the .243 prevailed.

Few challengers have taken on the .243 since then: the speedy .240 Wby. and the ill-fated .243 WSSMas well as competition-centric rounds like the 6XC and the 6x47 Lapua. But the .243 Win. has largely enjoyed being the king of 6mm mountain.

Hornady's launch of the 6mm Creedmoor as a commercial cartridge (the initial wildcat was the brainchild of Outdoor Life's John Snow) coincided with the rise of a new rifle discipline, tooPrecision Rifle Series competition or PRS. 6mm cartridges were common for this because, with high BC bullets, you got good trajectory and mild recoil. Further it could be loaded with full-length bullets and still function in an AR-10, so there were more options for competitive rifle platforms.


If you're a deer hunter who dearly loves his .243 Win. your eyes have already glazed. You probably don't care about the nuances of PRS shooting, and you're wondering why the world is so excited about another new 6mm cartridge. Fair enough.


The .243 Win. has several significant advantages over the 6mm Creedmoor that are primarily the result of the .243's six-decade head start in development. First, virtually all bolt-action hunting rifles are available in .243, and there are also AR-10 variants as well (though they won't handle really long, high BC bullets if that matters to you.)


Plus, there are a whole bunch of different ammo options available to you, everything from 55- or 58-grain varmint loads to 100-grain big game loads, and if you want to shoot competition there are heavier bullets for the .243 that will work. Load data abound.

While the 6mm Creedmoor is very new, there is already great interest in it. Most competition shooters now shoot 6mms, and the 6mm Creedmoor is the most popular option. That's quite impressive for a new cartridge.

There aren't as many rifle options in 6mm Creedmoor as there are in .243, to be sure, but there are a number of 6mm Creedmoor rifles available from a host of major manufacturers: Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Long Range, Savage 10T-SR, Montana Rifle Company's MSR, ASR and X2 and Ruger's Precision Rifle and American Rifle Predator, to name but a few.


Hornady is currently offering its 108-grain ELD Match load at 2,960 fps as well a brand-new 103-grain Precision Hunter load. 6mm Creedmoor brass is more difficult to find than .243 brass, but Hornady is now producing brass for the cartridge. The 6mm Creedmoor's case has a 30-degree shoulder that makes it slightly more efficient than the .243 and promotes case longevity, which benefits for reloaders.

Who's the winner? That depends. If you want to hunt varmints, predators and deer-size game and don't want to hunt for ammo then just buy a .243. It's worked fine for 60 years, and it will work just as well in the future. If you're a reloader who takes enormous pride in tiny groups, a serious competition rifle shooter who wants every advantage possible to win matches or simply the person who enjoys have the hottest, newest cartridge then the 6mm Creedmoor is your answer.

Recommended for You

Smith & Wesson's M&P15 SPORT II OR rifle with Crimson Trace CTS-103 optic will be on display at the Smith & Wesson Booth at the 2019 NRA Show. MSR

M&P15 SPORT II Rifle Available with CTS-103 Optic

Rifle Shooter Digital Staff - April 23, 2019

Smith & Wesson's M&P15 SPORT II OR rifle with Crimson Trace CTS-103 optic will be on display...

Ruger introduced .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC chamberings for the Ruger Precision Rifle. Bolt-Action

Ruger Precision Rifle Now Chambered in .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC

Rifleshooter Digital Staff - April 27, 2019

Ruger introduced .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC chamberings for the Ruger Precision Rifle.

When I decided to review three different rifles chambered in .22 LR and geared toward survival use, I was interested to see how they would stack up against each other. Rimfire

3 Great Takedown Survival Guns

David Fortier - March 19, 2015

When I decided to review three different rifles chambered in .22 LR and geared toward survival...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Scott O'Brien from Steyr Arms sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to take a look at Steyr's new tactical heavy barrel sniper rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Ruger's Matt WIlson kick off SHOT Show 2018 by taking a look at the Ruger Predator.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved. Ammo

.22 Memory Lane

J. Scott Rupp - January 04, 2019

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved.

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield. Ammo

New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER

Rifleshooter Online Editors - April 03, 2019

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.

A simple test shows how runout can affect the accuracy of your rounds. Shooting Tips

The Rundown on Runout

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

A simple test shows how runout can affect the accuracy of your rounds.

See More Stories

More Ammo

Weatherby has announced two new rifles — the Backcountry and the Backcountry Ti — and the 6.5 RPM non-belted cartridge, their first non-venturi design. Bolt-Action

New Weatherby Backcountry Rifles, 6.5 RPM Cartridge Announced

J. Scott Rupp - September 06, 2019

Weatherby has announced two new rifles — the Backcountry and the Backcountry Ti — and the 6.5...

In this Cartridge Clash, Brad Fitzpatrick weighs the pros and cons of the .308 Win. vs 7mm-08 Rem. Ammo

.308 Win. vs 7mm-08 Rem.

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 04, 2019

In this Cartridge Clash, Brad Fitzpatrick weighs the pros and cons of the .308 Win. vs 7mm-08...

The well-known bullet maker, Berger Bullets, is now loading some terrific deer ammunition. Ammo

Berger Bullets Classic Hunter Ammo

J. Scott Rupp - December 13, 2019

The well-known bullet maker, Berger Bullets, is now loading some terrific deer ammunition.

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.